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Being Thankful for Less

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This article appeared in the enewsletter, "Dollar Stretcher", yesterday (Sunday, November 18, 2012). It certainly struck a cord with me as I have a comfortable life aside from going through withdrawal. I know that being thankful can help those feelings of "Why me???" and a tendency to get anxious and depressed and so I'm going to make a determined effort to be more grateful, starting now.




Being Thankful for Less

by Shaunna Privratsky

The silver lining of thankfulness


We live in a nation of plenty. We enjoy an abundant food

supply, and virtually any material good that we desire is

available at the right price. Just by waking up, we have so

much to be thankful for.


Celebrity talk show hosts and life coaches urge us to keep a

gratitude journal. This is simply listing five or so things

that we are grateful for every day. Being grateful on a daily

basis puts us in an optimistic frame of mind. We are able to

focus on the positive side of every situation.


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to stop and reflect

on the goodness in our lives. We can celebrate with family and

friends and make a special day of togetherness. Yet, if we

extend the gratitude to encompass the whole year, we give

ourselves the gift of joy.


We often hear about "glass half full" type of people. They are

the ones on the Titanic that go under smiling. They look at

every setback or disappointment as another opportunity to do

something different or better. They are so Pollyanna-like that

we sometimes want to strangle them!


Yes, bad things happen to good people. However, if we can

glean some nugget of good from even the most tragic event, we

can actually train ourselves to be happier and more

optimistic. It is a noted fact that patients with a positive

outlook and hope for the future recover faster and heal better

than sorry-for-themselves-Sallys. People who smile a lot feel

better and more hopeful, so even if you don't feel like it,

fake it. Eventually the genuine feeling of happiness will

catch up.


But how do you make yourself be happy when all you want to do

is crawl under the covers and never come out? You have to do

some mental housekeeping. First, sweep out your self-critical

thoughts where you snip and degrade yourself. "You'll never

make enough money." "You're a pig!" "You're so lazy; you look

like a lump of lard." "Your hair is so frizzy the light

company could charge wattage." We are our own worst enemy



Instead, concentrate on the good qualities you know that you

possess. "You're so organized; you paid all the bills on

time." "That's a great color on you." "You deserve a break, so

rent your favorite movie." When you're good to yourself,

you're at peace. That translates into serenity, which helps

you face whatever life throws at you.


Next, let go of all your past mistakes. Many of us dwell on

things we did wrong yesterday, a month ago, or even a decade

ago. If you can't do anything about it, just let it go and

move forward. Each day is a brand-new start on a better life.


Take a look around. What makes you happiest? Is it that new

plasma television set that you'll be making payments on until

the youngest is in college? Is it a shiny new car or house

bigger than the neighbors? Or is it your family and closest

friends that bring you the most joy?


Often, doing with less material things can actually make you

happier. For instance, if you drive an old clunker, but it is

completely paid for and reliable, you are saving money and

stress from high monthly payments. If your house fits your

lifestyle and you can easily make the mortgage payments, you

will be happier than if you have to scramble each month in a

bigger, but not necessarily better, house.


An easy way to do this is by asking a simple question each

time you plan a purchase. Ask yourself, "Is this item a want

or a need?" If you stop and think about it, you can quickly

decide if you really need the very latest game system for your

kids or if they are doing just fine with their old one.


Being grateful is like opening the door to a fuller life. You

learn to be thankful for your health, which we take for

granted until something goes wrong. You wake up thankful for

what you have, instead of longing for things that are out of

reach. No matter what's in store for you, you can find the

silver lining when you are thankful for less.

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Thank you for posting this. This morning I needed to read something like this. I am not feeling any gratitude lately, only anxiety, fear and worry.


Thank you for posting/answering me in my thread as well.


I feel stuck in a bad space and the more I think about it the more frightened I become.


Making a gratitude list is hard when I feel this way.



I am grateful for being able to come to this site.

For being able to share at a deep level, and for the caring people on this site.


My mother, friends and dogs and daughter.


Grateful I have a small part time job at TJMaxx. That paycheck every Friday is nice.


I am grateful for my customers in my business. (truth be told I am afraid of being on my own and of where I am going). Being sick and working I think is what scared me.


No sick time pay.....


Thanks Jemima:)

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Excellent article, thanks, Jemima.


Often we compare what we have to what we want and it makes us feel bad, even though there's good in what we have.


How about moving this to Finding Meaning for everyone to see?

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